Noosa Festival Of Surfing

28 Nov 2008 0 Share

Josh Constable will be toes on the nose at Noosa Heads in 2009

Josh Constable will be toes on the nose at Noosa Heads in 2009

Long-time Noosa Festival supporter Golden Breed is back big-time for the Global Surf Industries Noosa Festival of Surfing 2009, taking on the role of presenter sponsor and naming rights over both the LQS men’s professional event and the noserider invitational.

Says Golden Breed CEO Nick Van de Merwe: “We never really went away, but after being at Noosa for many years, our involvement did scale down in 2008. I’m happy to say we’re back and bigger than ever to celebrate the fact that Noosa is now home to Golden Breed’s first concept store.”

Event director Phil Jarratt said he was thrilled that Golden Breed had taken on the presenter sponsorship. “Nick has been a great friend of the festival for almost a decade now, and Golden Breed support has been crucial to our growth. But what excites me most is the fact that we’re going back to the original concept of the Golden Breed Noserider, showcasing 16 of the world’s best noseriders in optimum conditions.”

There are simply very few places in the world that offer a noseriding training ground like Noosa’s four peeling point breaks, and some of the tip-riding you’ll see on just an average day at First Point or Tea Tree will blow your mind.

Riding the nose is what distinguishes longboarding from shortboarding, and it is one of the most difficult manoeuvres because in a very real sense it requires defying the forces of gravity. The surfer stalls the board mid-turn by pushing the back of the board down the face of the wave. Then he (or she, let’s not forget we’ve got some hot noserider girls) walks or runs to the front of the board and drapes five or ten toes over the nose as the speed of the wave pushing up the face keeps the tail in place.

The heavier you are, the harder it gets, so that’s why some of the best noseriders are skinny little stick figures, like the flying Norris brothers. But kids who learn to master the art while flyweights tend to keep their skills even when they develop the physiques of men, like Matt Cuddihy and Jai Lee. And some guys who have always been big – like Josh Constable or Tom Wegener – simply defy the odds by being outstanding noseriders.

Hawaiian beach boy Rabbit Kekai is often credited with pioneering noseriding back in the 1940s, riding a finless “hot curl” surfboard at Queens in Waikiki. Others give legendary shaper and scallywag the late Dale Velzy the credit, citing the summer of 1951 as the time when Velzy patented the hang five and hang ten manouevres at Manhattan Beach, in the South Bay of Los Angeles. By the end of the ‘50s, a hang ten was the holy grail of surfing, and in the 1960s surfboard designers started to come up with all kinds of weird designs to noseride better and for longer. One of these designers, Tom Morey (who later invented the boogie board) decided to promote his noseriders by staging the world’s first noseriding contest, the Tom Morey Invitational, in Ventura, California in 1965.

Competitors had to place a tape across the front of their boards and were timed while both feet were in front of the tape and they were either hanging five or ten. It was this pioneering contest format that was used back in 2000 when the Golden Breed Noserider Pro made its debut at Noosa. Many of the leading noseriders from the 1960s, including David Nuuhiwa and Donald Takayama, were pitted against the champions of the day, like Joel Tudor, Kevin Connelly and Ray Gleave. The Noserider was a huge success and a real crowd pleaser, and in 2009 it returns to the invitational format, so that Noosa can get to watch the new generation of home-grown noseriders, and the best of the rest, such as California’s Christian Wach and Chad Marshall, Hawaii’s world champ Bonga Perkins and France’s Antoine Delpero.

The Global Surf Industries Noosa Festival of Surfing, presented by Golden Breed, will run from March 15 to 22, 2009.

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